THIS IS A REPOST! I took down this one-shot before due to certain circumstances but I've made a few changes and it's ready to go online again.
Disclaimer: I do not own Fullmetal Alchemist.
Claimer: I own Josephine.
Hello. This is a one-shot that I wrote on the spur of the moment. And if you're like me who doesn't take note of what genre a fanfic is, I'll tell you right now, this is romance/angst.
I hope I kept everyone in character, and I apologize in advance if I haven't.
Solace in Deliverance
She sat upon a wooden chair in the grassy fields of Resembool. He didn't choose her. Of course not. She didn't mean anything to him; she was just a source of information, even if he claimed she was a friend.
Her brown eyes were downcast. And she felt ashamed at herself. What kind of a friend went to their friend's wedding and was being pessimistic over their own self-pity? Edward and Winry looked lovely together, and he had finally outgrown her.
She remembered the day Alphonse, Winry, and she got him to drink two litres of milk because he lost a bet. A smile crept onto her face as she looked up. She wouldn't be sad, no matter how much she loved him, no matter how much she wanted to be with him. She could never compare to Winry. She wasn't a genius, she wasn't pretty, and she didn't have a great figure. She was just normal. And she couldn't convince herself otherwise.
There's so much heartache…
Josephine clenched her dress as she sat in the front row, shaking slightly. The music started playing, and Alphonse sat beside her, worry written all over his face. They had gotten his body back ten years ago. Alphonse was actually shorter than Edward, a big surprise there.
"Josephine, are you alright?" Alphonse whispered.
Josephine gave him the brightest smile she could muster, "Of course. Why wouldn't I be?"
Alphonse saw right through her façade but didn't say anymore. She was hurting like mad on the inside, but forced herself to attend out of courtesy and respect of the Elric brothers. She held her head up high and looked Edward straight in the eye. He caught her stare and smiled. Her heart raced and her stomach filled with butterflies. But that was the same smile he gave to strangers.
They were strangers.
They became strangers ever since she confessed. That was probably the biggest mistake of her life. If only she hadn't, their relationship wouldn't be so screwed up.
Edward didn't actually want to invite her. It felt odd with her present. But Winry, whom was oblivious to their circumstance, like everyone else, was confused. She scolded Edward and invited Josephine in person.
"I can't wait to see the look on Josephine's face! This will be the most awesome wedding in history!" Winry laughed, holding her dress in front of her full-length mirror, twirling around.
Edward tensed. "I didn't invite her."
Winry spun around, surprised, "What? But it's tomorrow! I never knew you as such a scatter brain."
"Yeah, sorry 'bout that."
Winry sighed, "Idiot. I'll go do it myself. How can you forget one of your best friends? If I think Josephine looks even a bit angry, you're dead."
Edward didn't answer. What was he supposed to say? Yeah, sure. And I'll drink another litre of milk if she is? No.
"Come back quick."
Winry smiled, "I will, don't worry." She leaned over and planted a chaste kiss on his forehead, then left.
Left Edward feeling guiltier.
When Josephine answered the door, she felt her anger and jealousy return, but pushed it away. Winry was her friend, and she didn't want her to hate her. And so, she accepted the invitation without a second thought.
And she really wished she hadn't. She didn't know it would be this hard to sit still and not burst into tears when you saw your only love being wed before your eyes, with a front row seat no less.
Winry looked beautiful. She was wearing a flowing white dress that was being carried by two small children, each dressed in formal white gowns.
Winry and Edward's eyes met, and they both smiled simultaneously. And at the same time, her stomach lurched forward. It was time for them to give their oaths.
Oh god, not this.
She would have to sit through a speech of them saying how much they love each other. How they'll never leave each other. How she would just sit on the sidelines and watch, unable to move. Josephine's body stiffened. She hated Winry at this moment. Hated her so much. She unconsciously glared at her, and the second she did, she forced her eyebrows to go back into their neutral position. But Edward caught it. He gave her a small questioning look, but shrugged it off.
Josephine almost stopped breathing. Oh no. She didn't mean to. She didn't want Edward to hate her. Anyone but him. She loved him too much to do that, yet her body… it just… she had no control.
"Yo, Joey, what's up?" a cheerful Edward greeted.
Josephine turned to him nervously. "Um, actually… I wanted to talk to you in private."
Edward, Alphonse, and Winry looked at each other, and then shrugged.
"Sure," Edward replied. He took Josephine by the arm and led her behind the building. "So, what did you need to talk to me about that you couldn't say in front of those two?"
Josephine stared at her shoes and whispered, "I th-hink I love y-you."
Edward didn't hear a word she said. "Eh? What was that? Sorry, you were too quiet. OH! Let me guess, did Winry dismantle something of yours again?"
"Well, no… but—"
"And that, my friend, means she did. Wait here; I'll go talk to her."
Edward leaned off the wall and began to make his way back, but Josephine grabbed him by the sleeve and pleaded for him to stop.
Please, hear me out.
"C'mon, if you need to say something, say it. We're friends, right?" Edward grinned.
"Okay, but please don't hate me for this."
Edward laughed, "Why would I hate you? C'mon, spill it."
Josephine took a deep breath and looked him in the eye, "I love you."
If only she hadn't said those three dreaded words.
"Do you, Edward Elric, take Winry Rockbell as your lawfully wedded wife?"
Edward looked into her smiling eyes and smiled back, "I do."
It was so different, Josephine noted. Towards her, he never would have given her something half as sweet, something so full of love.
"Do you, Winry Rockbell, take Edward Elric as your lawfully wedded husband?"
Josephine cringed at Winry's voice. In the shining rays of daylight that illuminated her white dress, it made her sound angelic. Josephine felt so self-conscious, sitting in her plain red dress. It was the most formal piece of clothing she owned, and she didn't have enough money to buy a better one at the last moment.
Suddenly, clapping and cheering momentarily deafened her. Josephine looked around and saw people standing up, some with tears streaming down their face. She glanced at Edward, and in that split second, her heart broke. Quite literally.
She fell to the ground, the tears that were being held back flowed freely. The last thing she saw was the grass and boots of Alphonse as he got out of his chair in panic.
Josephine sat in her study, surveying the invitation. It was pink. Winry's doing.
She smiled to herself just thinking about Edward designing it in such a girly manner. He wouldn't be able to show his face in public again if he admitted he made the invites.
Then her smile dropped. They were getting married.
It was so sudden too. She wasn't prepared for this. Her heart wasn't.
Josephine's intuition told her that the reason Winry came instead of Edward was because he didn't want to know her anymore. After her confession, he was all fidgety and jumpy towards her. She knew he didn't mean it, but it inevitable. Somehow, she knew this was the result, but did it anyways. Perhaps it was because she felt unrequited love was more painful.
"Why am I so weak…?"
She buried her head in her arms, and without warning, tears unknown of origin started pouring out. She wept and sniffed. Her eyes became red and puffy, and as she studied herself in the mirror, she felt better. Better now that she let out her feelings. She wiped her nose with the back of her hand and went to the sink to wash her face. She felt dirty. Her hair was a mess.
And as she further counted the differences, she noticed how unhealthy she became. Her natural glow was now gone. Her skin wasn't as clear, and her hair as straight. Her eyes that shined brightly with love and hope were dead. Josephine was already naturally skinny, but now she was ridiculously thin. Perhaps even anorexic. Her lips held a permanent frown. Where did that come from? She wasn't a sad person. No, she was a happy person. Someone who was content with the bare necessities. Someone who never asked for much.
All she wanted was acceptance from Edward. Acceptance of her love for him.
A girl with medium brown hair laid limply in a white room. She was surrounded by white, and the stark contrast of her to the room was wide. Her eyes opened and she glanced around her in confusion.
How had she gotten here?
A voice. A boy's voice. Why was it so familiar?
"Josephine, are you okay? You passed out suddenly. We were so worried."
"Oh, please let the gods be kind, you're fine, right?"
Josephine looked at the three strangers in front of her. "I'm sorry if I sound rude, but who are you people?"
The look on their faces.
Alphonse took a step back in shock. Winry stared at her, mouth agape. Edward's eyes widened. She forgot them. How could she forget?
"Um… I'm sorry, did I say something wrong? I have a habit of always saying the wrong things."
Winry and Alphonse started to speak up, but Edward cut in, "No, you didn't. I'm Edward Elric, nice to meet you."